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October 22, 2015

Hillary At The Benghazi Committee

We don't actually expect anything to come of this right? Other than maybe Hillary spiking the football and getting a boost in the polls from it. Don't think so? Holding this in public was her idea.

I want to believe that this time it will be different and that the GOP members will come with a game plan to organize their questions logically and follow up for each other when she rambles and evades. But the reality is they are going to spend most of their allotted time making speeches, asking wildly unrelated questions and not following up on basic leads and misstatements from her.

Anyway, here's a primer from Stephen Hayes on what should be covered in this day long hearing.

On Benghazi itself, State's self-serving After Action Review Board should be a focus.

Clinton regularly cites the ARB report in defense of her role on Benghazi. She used it extensively in her book, Hard Choices, to shield herself from criticism. Clinton points to the ARB report frequently in media appearances, including twice in her recent interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper. There’s a reason she does this: The ARB report fixed blame for the attacks and the security lapses that preceded them on mid and low-level State Department bureaucrats and, aside from a few critical lines, largely exonerated Clinton.

But the ARB wasn’t a serious investigation and the report wasn’t a serious report. The ARB never interviewed Secretary Clinton. It never sought to obtain her emails and never learned that she had set up a private server. The ARB chose not to interview State Department officials who were likely to offer testimony that contradicted the Obama administration’s preferred narrative, including Mark Thompson, the senior counterterrorism official at the State Department on duty the night of the attacks, who repeatedly offered to testify but was never contacted by the ARB investigators. ARB co-chairman Admiral Mike Mullen warned senior State Department officials that Charlene Lamb, a State Department official preparing to appear before Congress, would be a bad witness for the administration. And Mullen admitted in a transcribed interview with the House Oversight Committee that he provided a draft copy of the report to Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff, for her review. It’s unclear how many changes to the report Mills made, but we do know that in one instance she removed the word “grossly” to soften the report’s assessment of the State Department’s negligence on security before the attacks.

Other than Benghazi, there will no doubt be questions about her homebrew server.

Expect her to cackle, argue and evade her way through the GOP questions and bask in the suck up questions from the Democrats (who are now tied to her for 2016). Once it's over she and the press will deem this case closed and time to move on dot org.

Or maybe a miracle will happen and one or more the Republicans will show some competence.


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posted by DrewM. at 09:50 AM

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